Plenty of bills, but no water - Mall Road residents upset with NWC

July 19, 2019

Residents of Mall Road, St Andrew, said they are still receiving water bills despite being without a consistent supply for the last seven months.

"All they do is send people to still come read yuh meter and send bill same way. Mi water bill for June was over $1,000, and mi nah get no wata. Mi haffi pay or dem keep adding late fee to it," Ernis Kitson, a resident, told THE WEEKEND STAR.

Another resident who lives in a yard with multiple houses, said last month she received a collective water bill of $18,000.

They say the National Water Commission (NWC) sometimes trucks water to the area, but this is very infrequent.

"They hardly come here. Week before last when dem come, dem stop a di yard before mi, and by the time dem reach mi yard, it done," Lisa Daley, a resident, said. "The last NWC truck was the last a June."

Because of this, residents said they have to find other ways of sourcing water. This includes buying water from a private truck for $700 a barrel. For those who can afford to, they get it from out of town.

"Mi husband haffi carry wata from all the way a Spanish Town come fi use. Every single day when him a go to work, him haffi carry him bottle dem," one resident said.

And Kitson said they have to be meticulously conserving water. "If you use water fi bade or fi wash, ya fi save it fi flush the toilet, because if yuh ever get rid of that, yuh inna serious trouble," he said.

But Charles Buchanan, corporate public relations manager at the NWC, told THE WEEKEND STAR that residents are receiving water, just at low pressure.

"Water is being supplied to most of these areas on occasions. Very often, though, it's at very low pressure, and it may come late at nights. I'm aware that water has been in parts of the Mall road area as recently as last week," he said

He said if residents who get water bills aren't receiving water, they should contact the NWC.

"The billing process is something that will continue, based on how the system is developed. If any individual customer receives a bill that they believe is not representative of their usage, they can have us investigate it," he said.

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